Today marks the launch of the first annual Fierce 50 Campaign.  As women over 50, we are coming together in a supportive, collaborative community to honor and celebrate one another and to share with the world what it means to be a woman at midlife and beyond. Through this collaboration, each woman has developed a unique bond with their blog partners, opening their hearts and sharing their stories in building authentic connections and relationships, we are forming a community of women who have within them over half a century of life experience and wisdom to share.  We are joining as one to begin shifting a common perception of this demographic.  We are here to show the world how powerful we are together and that we are only actually just starting.

Today, I’m going to introduce you to Valerie. She’s 52-years-old and blogs at Maple Leopard, fashion and travel website she started in Septemeber 2014. Val is married for 29 years and has two adult children.  

Please keep reading to learn more about the Seattle resident. 

What is your profession?  

I am an Elementary Reading Teacher by day and a blogger by night.

Why did you name your blog Maple Leopard?

I was born in Medicine Hat Alberta, near Calgary and raised in Vancouver, the land of maple syrup and maple leaves. Additionally, I’m obsessed with leopard prints and a huge lover of cats.

What is the focus of Maple Leopard?

My blog is about empowering women in midlife to feel confident and beautiful as they age by sharing inspirational fashion content and style tips. I also blog about my other passion, travel. I like to think of my blog’s tagline as “style for all the places you’ll go.”  I share my travel guides and tips as well as outfit guides for many of the cities I visit. 

On your blog’s about page, I noticed that you are a contributing writer to several different sites. How did this come about?

I found some gigs to write online.  My search leads me to Facebook groups and offers collaboration opportunities.  I contributed an article titled, “Savage” to Prolific Quarterly Magazine, a Talent, Entertainment and Lifestyle magazine, published four times a year.  As well as submissions to Wanderlust, and Mag Cloud, a print and digital publication.

I also learned that you received the Dallas Most Valuable Blogger Achievement in December 2014.  Tell me about this award.

I went to a tradeshow in Dallas with my friend that owns a boutique in Milwaukee to buy for her store.  The tradeshow had a contest to post during the show on Instagram.  I won the competition and a $100 gift certificate for best photos.

Is there an active blogger community where you live?  

Yes, they have blogger meet ups in my area and style summits put on by some fashion and agencies in the Seattle area. I’m also involved in the local Bellevue Fashion Week in September; I attend as media/press person covering the shows.

You have such an impressive Instagram following (over 5K!). How were you able to achieve this?

Engaging like crazy, posting often, did a few giveaways, and I am in some comment pods and groups.


How would you describe your style?

My style is a mix of classy, trendy, chic, and edgy.

Val, you’re so talented. You’re a writer, plus you sew.  I love this vintage coat that you sewed inspired by your visit to the Yves St. Laurent exhibit!  How long how have you been sewing?

I’ve been sewing since I was 13 and hoping to design a collection for travel.   

Speaking of travel, what’s your favorite vacation spot?

Oh, definitely Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Hawaii!

We’ve talked a lot about blogging.  Tell me about your family.

Yes, my girl Ashlin Elizabeth is 19 and studying fashion merchandising at Washington State University in Pullman. She is in her 2nd year. I am so proud of her, and she hopes to be a buyer or involved in product development. She wants to intern at Nike in Portland. And hopes to move to LA, and so do the hubs and me! Seattle is too cold and rainy.  My son is 23 and is working as a substitute teacher until he figures things out. He finished his BA in communications and is a big sports guy. He played college ball.

Finally, how you do maintain your figure?

I’m into a very healthy lifestyle. I love the outdoors, hiking, biking, and swimming.

Follow Val on Pinterest, Twitter and her blog, Maple Leopard, where you can read my Fierce 50 feature.

Thank you, Val!  

The Fierce 50 Campaign: Eugenia Introduces Valerie. Beth Briggs Illustrations.

 The beautiful fashion illustrations above are the work of Beth Briggs.


↑Check the above Flipagram video on all the ladies featured in #The Fierce 50 Campaign.

I have to say that one of my best blogging experiences so far has been the association with The Fierce 50 Campaign. It is an excellent opportunity to connect with many more women doing what I’m doing: ageing gracefully. You can’t imagine how amplifying the voices of baby boomers will ultimately make a difference for any older woman. I say watch out world. The best is yet to come. 

I’d also like to take the time to thank and acknowledge the Fierce 50 Campaign sponsors:   Onzie, Madison Reed, HSI Professional, and Awe Inspired for the opportunity for this group to provide giveaways to our followers on my Instagram page.  The giveaway will run fro 48 hours and entries will be accepted until 2/21/17 at 8 pm PST.  The winners will be chosen randomly and announced on 2/22/17.  Please know the giveaway was cancelled for now, sorry.

Before you finish, check out the Thrive Global article on The Fierce 50 Campaign, as well Hannah Storm’s interview. 

And lastly, if you have enjoyed reading this blog post and learning more about The Fierce 50 Campaign, please visit this page http://catherinegraceo.com/fierce50-campaign/ to see an archive where you will find each of the women that are participating in The Fierce 50 along with their blog posts.  If you or someone you know is interested in either joining or supporting the movement;  you have two options, first, Join the Facebook page, titled, The Fierce 50 Movement or via the Facebook Fierce 50 Movement.  Second, contact info@catherinegraceo.com.  We have lots more planned for this year and beyond so, stay tuned everyone.

Have a fabulous, stylish, and fierce week,

 

 

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